Hennie Aucamp: 'n gerontologiese oeuvrestudie
van Zyl, S.
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Hennie Aucamp: a gerontological oeuvre study Hennie Aucamp's death on 20 March 2014 concluded his extensive and diverse oeuvre which can now be approached from new perspectives such as gerontology which is also known as the study of ageing. The original contribution of this thesis resides in proposing a gerontological approach to the literary works of Hennie Aucamp with reference to literary gerontology, narrative gerontology, queer gerontology and intergenerational relations. Compared to the scope of his oeuvre there is a relative dearth of research on Aucamp and none of the existing studies approach his literary oeuvre from a gerontological perspective exclusively or investigate his complete oeuvre. The respective literary texts of Aucamp, and conventions of the genres in which the texts have been written, guided the analysis and interpretation. In addition to the literary texts as aesthetic objects, which in complex ways are reflections of reality, relevant ego documents by Aucamp were also included to give a more variegated insight into his literary oeuvre and more specifically the ways in which he explores gerontology and related themes. From both the literary texts and ego-documents, many perspectives on the ageing of queer seniors emerged. This queer gerontological view constitutes an important contribution as the voice of especially the senior queer is seldom heard in/through Afrikaans literature. Literary-gerontological themes and relationships depicted in Aucamp's literary texts include biological decline due to ageing; the mirror as technique to bring about confrontation with the effects of ageing; the difference between mental and chronological age; ascribing specific characteristics to specific ages; the role of memory in the senior; social isolation of seniors; (queer) masculine experience of ageing; the older artist's experience of ageing; intergenerational relationships which can be romantic, familial, platonic, heterosexual, homosexual or various combinations thereof; friendships and relationships between seniors; the use of art, and the idealisation of beauty and youth in an attempt to avert ageing and fugacity; seniors' envy of the youth of younger people; practical matters pertaining to ageing; the retirement home as literary space in which ageing plays out; and the essay as bridge between literary and narrative gerontology.
- Humanities